Tuesday, 10 June 2014
A man from Hertfordshire has been jailed for 15 months after being found guilty of running a money laundering operation through an illegal London poker club.
Ahmet Melin was found guilty on five charges at Wood Green Crown Court in April and was sentenced last week.The 33-year-old was prosecuted by Enfield Council following a raid at Big Bluff Private Members Club in Green Lanes; Palmers Green. Council officials said that the club was a front for an illegal poker club rather than a non-profit making private members club which the venue's Club Gaming Permit allowed.“Because Big Bluff was operating large poker tournaments and all the profits from them were illegal they amounted to criminal assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act because Melin was withdrawing money from the club for his own purposes,” read a statement from Enfield Council.According to the judge, “the operation was run illegally from the start with poker as its main function (and) Melin was constantly pushing the boundaries through the use of false accounts, minutes and minimising his own role”. Nick Tofiluk, the Gambling Commission’s Director of Regulatory Operations added, "This is an excellent example of how a local authority with Gambling Commission support is dealing with illegal gambling in whatever guise it is presented. The message is simple - if you offer poker in a club and are breaking the law, action can and will be taken."
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